One of the frustrations of Naval Academy life -- for both Faculty and Midshipmen -- is the extent to which the daily schedule limits opportunities for informal encounters between teacher and student. Midshipmen simply do not have the time to take full advantage of the range of academic potential the Academy offers. You cannot always meet in leisure with your professors, pursue spontaneous discussions to their conclusion, or read much beyond the books required in courses. The purpose of this compilation is to take a step in the direction of alleviating this frustration.
Each Naval Academy faculty member and librarian was invited to submit a list of books that he or she would recommend to you. They were asked to identify those books that had a major impact on their own lives. You may find in this list books which will have a significant effect on your own life.
We have provided Nimitz Library call numbers for each book so that you can print out pages with books of interest and go directly to the shelves. If all copies of a book are on loan you can put a reserve on the next available copy at the Circulation Desk. We have ordered any book not already in the Nimitz Library collection. Call numbers for the videotape and audiotape versions of books, shelved on the first floor of Nimitz Library, are given where appropriate.
There are many other lists of suggested readings available. Two of special interest are the CNO Reading List and the Marine Corps Reading List.
Contact John Cummings (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information on submitting recommendations.
Comments & Suggestions: Web Systems Management Librarian http://www.usna.edu/LibExhibits/Readinglist/Introduction.htm
I was wondering what the learned folks here on Free Republic thought about these works, what works they found missing from such an extensive list, and what they were happy to see was on the list, and what they were unhappy to see on the list. And of course, WHY?
Professor Richard Abels, History Department:
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. (PS 3558 .E476 C3 1961)
Regeneration by Pat Barker. (PR 6052 .A6488 R4 1961)
Waiting for the Barbarians by Joseph Coetzee. (PR 9369.3 .C58 W3 1982)
The Making of the Middle Ages by Richard Southern.
(CB 351 .S6 1953a)
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
(Book: PG 3326 .B7 G32, Audiotape: PG 3326 .B7 F5 1997)
On the Genealogy of Morality by Friedrich Nietzsche.
(B 3313 .Z73 D5413 1994)
The Once and Future King by T. H. White. (PR 6045 .H2052 1958)
Professor Peter Andre, Mathematics:
The Double Helix by James Watson. (QH 450.2 .W37)
Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis. (PA 5610 .K39 Z6713 1952)
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. (PS 3558 .E476 C3 l961)
The Once and Future King by T. H. White. (PR 6045 .H2 O52 1958)
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. (HQ 1426 .F844 1997)
The Double Helix gives a marvelous insight into the human side of scientific research. The excitement and also the fragility of the hunt for new knowledge comes through clearly. Zorba the Greek is about a bigger than life character who leaves the reader with the feeling that there is a source of energy in all of us which is largely untapped. Catch 22 is a zany unreal book which leaves the reader wondering whether a serious view of life is the real one or whether we are all enjoying a big joke. The Once and Future King takes the Arthurian legend and turns it into a story that begins with a sense of childish optimism. At first this book seems to be a children's book. However, by the end we see the dark forces of the world gaining power. The final chapter of the book portrays one of the most powerful images of a man who has seen his hopes and optimism destroyed by, in some sense, his own inability to carry out his dream. The Feminine Mystique was one of the first popular women's lib books. Although Friedan's optimism about solving women's problems is naive, she was one of the first to see that women's roles in American life will have to change.
Professor Robert Artigiani, History Department:
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (PR 6015 .U9 B73 1950)
The Stranger by Albert Camus (PQ 2605 .A3734 E813)
Science And Human Values by J. Bronowski (Q 171 .B8785 1965)
What Is Life? by Erwin Schrodinger (QH 331 .S3557)
The End of Certainty by Ilya Prigogine (Q 175 .P7513 1997)
Professor William Bagaria, Aerospace Engineering Department:
The Sleep Walkers by Arthur Koestler (BL 245.K63 1959a)
The City of God by St. Augustine. (BR 65.A64 E5 1998)
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. (Book: PS 3525 .I5 156 A6 1995, Videotape: PS 3525 .I5 156 D4 2001)
The Sleep Walkers is a comprehensive presentation of one of the greatest controversies of all time, the Heliocentric Theory. Koestler is an excellent writer and his style makes this history book read like a novel. He does an outstanding job presenting the cast of characters, the scientific theories, and the religious/political realities of the times. He presents many interesting facts, such as the ignominious events leading to Tycho Brahe's death, as written down by Kepler. Lesser known than his Confessions, in The City of God Augustine presents a wide range of religious ideas set in the context of the knowledge of the fifth century. It is fascinating to read his rigorous arguments interspersed with amusing digressions. It is alleged that Augustine said that, although he had never seen one, he considered the dragon to be one of God's most beautiful creatures. Regardless of his "primitive" knowledge, Augustine's theology is still viable today. Without hope, what value is there to life? But living in a day-dream world must eventually lead to one's demise. Death of a Salesman, while an engrossing heart-wrenching drama, can serve to show us the pitfalls that can lead to a tragic life.
CDR Miles J. Barrett, USN, USNA Chaplain.
The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong. (BL 238 .A76 2000)
The Shattered Lantern by Ronald Rolheiser. (On order)
From an anthropologist and historian, Karen Armstrong, comes The Battle for God which reviews 2000 years of history of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim fundamentalism and the conflicting mythos and logos influence in mid-eastern and western thought today. From a philosopher systematic theologian, Ronald Rolheiser, comes The Shattered Lantern which offers a wide ranging analysis of the atheism of our age. It reviews the philosophers over the centuries; and, brings clarity to our unbridled restless, narcissistic world with an invite to contemplatively live our lives. From Nietzsche's madman and the smashed lantern this brief read is rich with insights for leaders of today and tomorrow.
Professor Harriet Bergmann, English:
Beloved by Toni Morrison. (Book: PS 3563 .O8749 B4 1987, Videotape: PS 3563 .O8749 B4 1998) A portrait of slavery, of mothers and children, of independence.
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (PS 2954 .U5 1998). Surely the most popular book in the 19th century deserves some consideration in the 21st.
The Body in Pain by Elaine Scarry (BJ 1409 .S35 1985) is a scrupulous discussion of the language of war and violence - one of the most thought provoking books I have ever read.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Book: PR 9199.3 .A8 H3 1986, Audiotape: PR 9199.3 .A8 H3 1999) is even scarier these days. When she wrote it she said that everything that happened in the book had an historical precedent; certainly the basic situation is very close to what the Taliban did to women in Afghanistan.
Professor Allyson Booth, English Department:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (PR 4034 .P7 1990, Audiotape: PR 4034 .P7 1980, Videotape: PR 4034 .P7 1998)
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (PQ 2603 .E378 E513 1954)
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (PR 4568 .C67 1986)
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (PR 4750 .M39 1984)
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (PS 2116 .P6 1995b)
Beloved by Toni Morrison (Book on order, Videotape: PS 3563 .O8749 B4 1998)
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (PS 3568 .O3125 H6 1997)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (PG 3366 .A6 1995)
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (PR 6045 .O72T6)
For when you go to Italy:
Tales from Ovid (translated by Ted Hughes) (PA 6522 .M2 H78 1997)
The Agony and the Ecstasy: a novel of Michelangelo by Irving Stone (PS 3537 .T669 A64 1961)
For when you go to Greece:
The Odyssey by Homer. (Book: PA 4167 .H66 1996, Audiotape:
PA 4025 .A5 M36 1996)
Beach Reading /Great Stories:
The Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr (PS 3552.A73184 T7 1994)
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (PR 4494 .M62 1999)
Bang the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris (PS 3515.A757 B3 1984)
Cider House Rules by John Irving (PS 3559.R8 C5 1999)
The Winds of War by Herman Wouk (PS 3545 .O98 W55)
Assistant Professor Douglas Brattebo, Political Science Department:
Fathers and Sons, by Ivan Turgenev. (PG 3420 .O8 E5 1996) This novel by a great Russian author is about many things: political revolutions, coming of age, and the tension between generations. I first read this book as an undergraduate, and the final scene in which the protagonist's parents try to reconcile their disagreement with their son's politics with their inexorable love for him has stayed with me always. It haunts.
A Prayer for Owen Meany. (PS 3559 .R8 P7 1990) This novel by the modern American writer John Irving recounts the experiences of the two main characters and best friends (the author, who is the book's omniscient narrator, and his strange and quirky chum named Owen Meany) in the 1960s. This book provides a flavor of some of the most interesting dilemmas of a unique decade, unforgettable characters, and dark comedy.
Harold Macmillan (DA 566.9 .M33 H6 1989). This biography of the great British statesman and Prime Minister (1957-1964), by Alistair Horne, gives an account of one of the most remarkable lives of the twentieth century. A soldier in the First World War, a high-ranking diplomat in the Second World War, and a Cold Warrior who sought to bridge the gap between the United States and continental Europe during his prime ministership, Macmiillan was a complicated, important, and engaging figure. His humor, leadership, and breadth made him young in spirit even in very old age.
Jennifer Bryan, Head of Special Collections and Archives, Nimitz Library:
The Republic by Plato. (JC 71 .P35 1985)
Confessions by St. Augustine. (BR 65 .A6 E5 1991)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. (Book: PR 4571 .C48 1996, Audiotape: PR 4571 .A1 1986, Videotape: PR 4571 .A1 1990)
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. (PR 5318 .A2 D86 1996)
The Iliad by Homer. (PA 4025 .A2 M85 1999)
I was introduced to philosophy my sophomore year of college, and briefly toyed with the idea of changing my major from history to philosophy. Plato's theory of forms was particularly appealing to me. My philosophy professor explained to the class that all philosophers, no matter what they may call themselves, are basically Platonists or Aristotelians. During the course of the year, I found myself more attracted to the works of those philosophers who followed Plato's line of reasoning rather than Aristotle's.
St. Augustine's Confessions was another work studied in philosophy class. I still remember his story of stealing pears from a neighbor not because he wanted them, or because he was hungry, but just for the sake of stealing them. As I recall, he used this episode from his life to explain the nature of sin. His description of the concept of time as a means man created to attempt to understand eternity also has stuck with me. A Tale of Two Cities and Ivanhoe are books I read when a teenager. Dickens' depiction of the Reign of Terror is, in my opinion, unsurpassed. Both the depravity and the nobility of which human beings are capable appear in the characters of Madame Defarge, knitting as heads roll, and Sydney Carton, offering himself to the guillotine in the place of the Marquis St. Evremonde. Ivanhoe, although probably not particularly historically accurate, is still a good tale, full of knights and chivalry. Although familiar with the basic plot of the Iliad, I had not actually read it until quite recently. The power of this poem, more than 2,000 years old, is amazing. I found myself sympathizing more with Hector and the Trojans than Achilles and the Achaean host.
Mr. Chris Buck, Technical Support Coordinator, Humanities and Social Sciences Division:
Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (PG 3476 .B78 M3 1967)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (PG 3366 .V6 1942)
Major S. P. Callahan, USMC, History Department:
The Nightingales Song by Robert Timberg. (Book: E 876 .T55 1995, Videorecording: E 876 .T553 1995)
This is a very readable book by a 1964 grad who served as a Marine during Vietnam before becoming a journalist. It weaves the stories of five other graduates (McCain, McFarlane, Webb, North, and Poindexter) together, showing how their ambition and events like Vietnam shaped their world perceptions. The result was with both positive and negative impacts on the nation they were sworn to protect. I believe this book serves a dual purpose, both inspiring and warning midshipmen about their potential.
CDR Matthew Carr, Mechanical Engineering Department:
Situational Leadership by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard (Out of print; updated by the videotape Situational Leadership for Supervisors (HD 57.7 .S57 1990)
The Hornblower series by C.S. Forester and Life in Nelsons Navy by Dudley Pope. (VA 454 .P66 1981)
Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling. (PR 4854 .C36 E97)
Books on Sir Ernest Shackleton and his third expedition to Antartica (1914-1916).
The Bible - A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education. (President Theodore Roosevelt) Roosevelt believed that there were absolutes. To his mind, true leadership must always be accountable to that set of unchanging principles, ones not affected by the movement of the clock or the advance of the calendar. And he believed that those absolute principles could only reliably be found in the Book of Books, the Bible. (Quoted from Carry a Big Stick, by George Grant) I agree.
I read Situational Leadership as a LT and it really helped me to recognize the maturity levels of the people in my various organizations and what it would take for each to perform at a better level. Now out of print it is updated by the videotape Situational Leadership for Supervisors (HD 57.7 .S57 1990).
Forester used to be required reading for all midshipmen and probably should be today. His Hornblower books trace the history of a fictional officer in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic era. Hornblower deals with the issues of character, duty, and leadership in each book, but from the perspective of his rank and experience at each level. Foresters description of battles between ships really brings it to life. Hornblower books appear on the recommended reading list of many other faculty members. I would add Popes book to get a better background of what it was like to be in the Navy at that time. Remember that many of the U.S. Navy traditions came from the Royal Navy.
Captains Courageous is a story of character development in a spoiled and wealthy teenager who was rescued by some Gloucester fishermen after falling off a luxury liner. While this story takes place about a 100 years ago, its message is timeless.
An incredible story of leadership and survival - Sir Ernest Shackleton intended to cross Antarctica with dog sleds. Instead his ship, the Endurance, became icebound for over 10 months and was then crushed by the ice. He and 27 others camped on ice flows for 6 months until forced by the ice melting to take to their life boats. After landing on a rocky island, he took a 26 foot lifeboat with five others and sailed it across the South Atlantic to a small, but inhabited island get help in rescuing the remainder of his crew. This may be the most incredible small boat journey of all time. He then hiked across South Georgia Island in a 30 hour trek that included hiking over a mountain range and glacier. It took him three months to get back to where he left the others, but not a single life was lost. Shackleton took a photographer along on the trip and many of the photos were saved. At the same time, 28 others in the ship Aurora had the job of pre-staging food and supplies on the opposite side of the continent on a line of longitude that Shackelton would follow after he crossed the South Pole. Ten of these men were marooned as the Aurora was blown out to sea, also became icebound, and couldnt get back to the marooned men. These men had no way of knowing that Shackleton was unable to start his trek, so they improvised and actually placed food and supplies, setting a record for sledging of around 220 days. There are many books on Shackleton, two very good ones by Alfred Lansing and Caroline Alexander. Lennard Bickels book on the Aurora crew is particularly interesting.
CDR Ward Carroll, English Instructor, Director of the Company Officer Masters Program, and author of PUNK'S WAR:
On the Road by Jack Kerouac. (PS 3521 .E735 O6 1991)
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut. (PS 3572 .O5 M6 1999)
Catch-22, Joseph Heller. (PS 3558 .E476 C3 1961)
John Paul Jones by Samuel Eliot Morison. (E 207 .J7 M6 1989)
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C. S. Forester. (Book: PR 6011 .O56 M74 1950, Audiotape: PR 6011 .O56 M74 1983)
The Hunters by James Salter. (PS 3569 .A4622 H86 1997)
I've always been troubled by jingoism and perhaps overly sensitive too it, but each of these books has helped me formalize my POV and allowed me to figure out why I attended the Naval Academy and stayed in the Navy for twenty years.
Kerouac was considered by many as the first hippie and was a founding member of the Beat Generation, but he was no slug. The choices he made were conscious ones. On the Road and other Kerouac works were a great release for me on deployment because his landscapes were vastly different than the world I was surrounded by at the time. The moral of Mother Night is a good one for midshipmen to consider: We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Plus, Vonnegut has a way of articulating the American experience that must be considered by those who imagine they will stand in defense of this country.
I would re-read Catch-22 at the beginning of every cruise because it got me in the right frame of mind for what I was going to be up against for the six months after that. If you're going to be in the military, you need to embrace the characters in this book. They're out there . . .
Morison's John Paul Jones is the definitive work on the man. You're faking it if you try to be a naval officer without understanding his impact on the business, warts and all.
Before you complain about chow calls and a lack of liberty read the tale of what midshipmen did in the late 18th Century. Not only is Mr. Midshipman Hornblower an interesting look into the romantic period of naval warfare, it's a full-tilt romp. (I prefer Forester to O'Brian, by the way.)
The Hunters is a beautiful, airy book about flying fighters that speaks in sincere, candid terms about what goes through a pilot's head during wartime. My good friend LTCOL Kent Esbenshade, USAF, introduced me to this work. A must read for future naval aviators
Professor Mike Chamberlain, Mathematics Department:
Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson. (E 173 .O94 vol 6)
Lincoln by Gore Vidal. (PS 3543 .I26 L5 1998)
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. (Book: PS 3569 .H2 K55 1975, Audiotape: PS 3569 .H2 K55 1994, Videotape: PS 3569 .H2 K55 1993)
Witness to Gettysburg by Richard Wheeler. (E475.53.W55 1987)
Chesapeake by James Michener. (PS 3525 .I19 C55)
The Covenant by James Michener. (PS 3525 .I19 C68)
Mr. Larry Clemens, Director of MSC and Engineering & Weapons Division Liaison Librarian:
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. (Book: PS 3569 .H2 K55 1975, Audiotape: PS 3569 .H2 K55 1994, Videotape: PS 3569 .H2 K55 1993)
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. (PS 3553 .A655 E5 1991)
Any book by Bruce Catton, such as Mr. Lincoln's Army
(E 470.2. C37 1962)
Killer Angels, a fictional work about the battle of Gettysburg, has many real life examples of leadership. The hero of the book, Colonel Chamberlain needs to rally men who no longer want to fight, make several high risk decisions under fire, and physically lead a regiment when many have given up. The recent movie "Gettysburg" is adapted from this book. You don't have to be a civil war enthusiast to enjoy the work. Ender's Game has long been a standard of the Commandant of the Marine Corps Reading list. This science fiction work provides real life examples why people need to train for battle. In fact, the lesson from the book is, the harder you train, the easier to battle. I also recommend any book by Bruce Catton. While Catton is not the best historian about the Civil War, he is one of the better authors in the area. Catton uses diaries and recollections to bring this conflict to life for the reader.
Associate Professor John P. Cummings, Nimitz Library:
You Just Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen. (HQ 734 .T24 1990)
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. (PR 4825 .J3 T5 1999)
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. (Book: BF 637.S8 C68 1989, Audiotape: BF 637 .S8 C68 1989b)
The war between the sexes is generally waged on the field of communication. You Just Don't Understand provides insight into the fundamental differences in the purpose and mechanics of conversation as used by men and women. If you develop such insight during your undergraduate years you may not have to spend the rest of your life wondering why you are not understood. Three Men in a Boat, written in 1889, is classic British humor. You will either love it or hate it--and you will know which after the first two pages. A key concept in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is the fact that our expectations are created by the patterns we use as we look at things. These paradigms determine how we perceive situations and therefore how we deal with them. This book could sharply improve your life by increasing your understanding of the everyday forces acting on you.
LT M.E.C. Dean, Seamanship & Navigation:
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. (PR 6015 .U9 B73 1950)
Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (PS 3554 .I86 S57 2000)
Memoirs of A Geisha by Arthur S. Golden (PS 3557 .O35926 M45 1999)
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. (Book: E 184 .I6 1966, Audio: E 184 .I6 M117 1997)
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (Book: PR 4034 .S4 1953, Audio CD: PR4034 .S4 2000)
Brave New World provides a look into the world of "what if the government really controlled everything". Sister of My Heart peers into the world of Indian culture and relationships that bind people beyond blood ties. Memoirs of A Geisha studies the life of a Japanese Geisha in WWII as the geisha goes from an accepted art to the post-WWII Western World perspective. Angela's Ashes allows a look at the life of Frank McCourt growing up in the slums of Ireland. Sense and Sensibility is a book which should be read years after studying it or its counterparts (Pride & Prejudice, Emma,..) in order to appreciate its amusing, yet revealing perspective of 19th Century England.
Professor S. A. Elder, Physics:
Foundations of Physics by Robert B. Lindsay and Henry Margenau. (QC 6 .L42)
The Puritan Dilemma by E. S. Morgan. (F 67 .W798)
Writings of C. S. Lewis
Foundations of Physics summarizes the philosophy of modern physics that I was taught by the late Professor Lindsay while at Brown University. R. Bruce Lindsay was one of the bright young students of the 20's who developed the "new" physics. His impact on my life included: thesis advisor for Sc.M. degree, course instructor for three g raduate-level courses at Brown, friend and career advisor for more than thirty years. Margenau, of Yale, was known for his expertise in the history and philosophy of science. The Bible has profoundly affected both my lifestyle and my teaching style. It emphasizes the importance of the individual, and one's personal accountability. I found The Puritan Dilemma helpful in understanding the roots of American Democracy. It helps to explain why the American Revolution was different from the French Revolution. The book tells how John Winthrop, an English gentleman, and the other members of the exclusive Massachusetts Bay Company "freemen, willingly gave up their chance to exploit the colony for financial gain and instead, developed a working democracy in seventeenth century New England; how the people to whom he transferred power at first rejected him and later came to appreciate his special contributions. C. S. Lewis's books have helped me to see the relevance of religion in modern life. Lewis shows convincingly why the old ideas of God, heaven, etc., as taught in historic, mainstream Christianity, make sense to intelligent, scientifically trained minds. In his novels he shows the evil social consequences of rejecting religious teaching.
Assistant Professor Howard Ernst, Political Science Department:
Essays, Ralph Waldo Emerson. (PS 1608 .A2 F47 1987)
A vegetarian friend of mine is often asked why she refuses to eat animal flesh. Her usual response is, "If you have to ask the question, you probably would not understand my answer." This is precisely how I feel about Emerson's Essays. I encourage students, or anyone with an inquiring mind, to explore Emerson's ideas. Take your time, read slowly, and perhaps you too will hope the pages never end.
LT Sean Fahey, Political Science Department:
A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan (DS 558 .S47 1988) gives an excellent overview of Vietnam showing the importance of not only personal initiative but also critically looking at many of our failures there.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (PS 3558 .E476 C3 1961) is a World War II novel with such colorful characters and situations that no matter who you meet in the fleet or what strange scenarios you find yourself in, you'll know that you're not alone.
Adjunct Professor Christopher Fettweis, Political Science Department:
Black Like Me by John Howard Griffen. (E 185.61 .G84 1989)
The Ends of the Earth by Robert Kaplan (DS 10 K345 .1977)
A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan (DS 558 .S47 1988)
Candide by Voltaire (Book: PQ 2082 .C3 E5 1951,
Audiotape: PQ 2082 .C3 E5 1986)
Black Like Me is the true story of a white journalist traveling through the south in the 1960s disguised as a black man. The Ends of the Earth by Robert Kaplan is a travel narrative with a twist - he visits some of the poorest, most war-torn places on earth. Both should provide unforgettable perspective on the experiences of other people on this earth and may be quite eye-opening to the average midshipman coming from an upper middle class suburban background. A Bright Shining Lie is the best book written on Vietnam, and a must for any military officer who wishes to avoid repeating the mistakes that were made there. Candide is a short, easy-to-read novel (perfect for the busy midshipman) that addresses some of the biggest issues facing humanity with humor and grace.
Professor J. Eric Fredland, Economics Department:
Free to Choose by Milton Friedman. (HB 501 .F72)
Economics and the Public Purpose by John Kenneth Galbraith.
(HC 106.6 .G344)
Exit, Voice, and Loyalty by Albert Hirschman. (HM 131 .H566)
The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. (HB 161 .S646 1961)
Associate Professor Clementine Fujimura, Language Studies Department:
Journey into the Whirlwind by Eugenia Ginzburg. (DK 268.3 .G513)
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. (PG 3476 .B78 M3 1967)
The Mountain People by Colin Turnbull. (DT 429 .T87)
Wrapping Culture by Joyce Hendry. (DS 830 .H45 1993)
Especially today, when we realize how little we really understand about world cultures, it seems that these books could affect midshipmen as they affected me in college. It was through Journey into the Whirlwind that I realized that I had no clue what suffering really was and that I needed to read and study "others more deeply to truly relate to people with such different life experiences. Russians themselves suggested I read their literature, and The Master and Margarita was perhaps the most bizarre, shocking, funny and therefore exciting piece of protest literature I have ever read. Bulgakov wrote this novel during the Soviet crackdown of the 1930's and risked his life to send his anti-Stalinist message via this complex allegory of good and evil. This book was not published until 1967. Such literature motivated me to learn more about other cultures. The Mountain People is a story of an unbelievable group of people, the Ik, situated on the borderlands of Uganda, Kenya and the Sudan, who will do anything to survive. This book made me realize that our sense of morality may not apply worldwide as conditions can change even a very basic sense of morality and justice. Finally, it was Wrapping Culture which taught me the complexity of communication across cultures. When communicating with people from other cultures, we need to fully understand the complexity of language and the many forms it takes beyond the spoken word. If we rely on our "American common sense, we will surely miss our chance at a peaceful world.
Associate Professor Audrey Gaquin, Language Sudies Department:
The Phenomenon of Man, by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. (BD512.T413 1965)
The Need for Roots by Simone Weil. (HM 216 .W352 1971)
Existentialism and Humanism by Jean-Paul Sartre. (B 819 .S32 1977)
Perelandra by C. S. Lewis. (PR 6023 .E926 P47)
Dean William B Garrett, Vice Academic Dean:
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. (Book: PS 3513 .I25 P7 1991, Audiotape: PS 3513 .I25 P6 1985)
The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White.
(PE 1408.S772 2000)
The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell
Justine. (PR 6007 .U76 J88 1957)
Balthazar. (PR 6007 .U76 B34 1958)
Mountolive. (PR 6007 .U76 M68 1959)
Clea. (PR 6007 .U76 C44 1960)
A Treasury of Great Poems, edited by Louis Untermeyer.
(PR 1175 .T74 1993)
Assistant Professor Todd Garth, Language Studies Department:
Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
(BF 637 .M4 K23 1994)
Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. (DS 135 .N6 F73413 1995)
Just an Ordinary Day by Shirley Jackson. (PS 3519 .A392 J8 1997)
Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson. (PS 3519 .A392 Z5 1953).
Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson. (PS 3519 .A392 R3 1957)
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.
(PS 3519 .A392 W45 1962)
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. (PS 3519 .A392 H3 1976)
El Tunel by Ernesto Sabato. (PQ 7797 .S214 T8 1965)
The Odyssey by Homer. (Book: PA 4167 .H66 1996, Audiotape: PA 4025 .A5 M36 1996)
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (PS 3537 .T3234 G8 1986b)
I'm not usually one for self-help gurus, but Jon Kabat-Zinn verges on genius. He combines Eastern philosophy and meditation practice with Western perspective, and the result is a very provocative but satisfying take on how to live in the face of life's inherent limitations. Wherever You Go, There You Are is also a lovely, poetic narrative. I try to read The Diary of a Young Girl every six or seven yearsI'm long overdue nowand I always learn something new from it. This thirteen-year-old girl had no concept that her diary would be read by anyone. How did she manage to produce a book so incisive? It would be easy to read The Grapes of Wrath like some kind of cartoon or melodrama; the fact it reflected real people's lives renders it explosive. This is the only book that ever made me weep. When I was a boy, my father tried to get me to read Horatio Hornblower adventure novels (maybe the videos are better?) and as a result I hated adventure stories until I read Homer's Odyssey. This book has something for everyone. If you don't like mythology, focus on the adventure, or the psychological insight, or the political implications, or just the magnificent poetry. Shirley Jackson was the first author I read purely for pleasure, and I consider her America's most underrated writer. Her books are very hard to find nowadays. First I discovered her domestic novelssort of like sitcoms between coversRaising Demons and Life Among the Savages. Then as a teenager I discovered The Haunting of Hill House (absolutely nothing like the movie), and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, her masterpiece of psycho-weird suspense. Amazing that one person could have written two such entirely different genres. Her short stories - some collected in Just an Ordinary Day cover everything in between. And speaking of psycho-weird, Argentine Ernesto Sábato perfected it in the 1940s, before psychologists even studied paranoid schizophrenia. But the amazing part of The Tunnel (On Order) is its poetic simplicity (third-year Spanish students can read it). It packs psychodrama, crime, social and political commentary and a very twisted love story all in beautiful, balanced prose. Once I read this I just knew I had to go to Argentina.
Captain Keith E. Gibeling, USAF, History Department:
The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas L. Friedman. (Book: HF 1359 .F74 1999; Audiovisual: HF 1359 .F74 1999b) A brilliantly written, insightful interpretation of today's globalized world and America's place at its center. Should be required reading for all military professionals.
Professor C. Herbert Gilliland, English Department:
Flatland by Edwin A. Abbot. (QA 699 .A13 1983) A delightful little book listed by others here. For me it was a stimulus to trying to envision how things looked from outside my own "dimensions."
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. (PG 3366 .V6 1942) As a teenager, I picked this to read as a sheer quantitative challenge-- because it was the fattest book in my parents' library. Took me three tries to get through it. But I found in it an enormously rich exploration of human beings.
Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier. (Book: PS 3556 .R3599 C6 1997 Videorecording: PS3556.R3599 C6 2004 ) The beautifully written tale of a Confederate soldier making his way home towards the end of the war, to the woman who has been waiting for him. Though the book contains scenes of combat, it is really about how war can affect society and individuals. It is also an elegant love story.
Professor Jane Good, History Department:
A sampling of my favorite literature around the world...
Russia: Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (PG 3476 .P27 D63 1990)
Japan: The Remains of the Day by Kauzuo Ishiguro.
(PR 6059.S5 R46 1990)
Greece: Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis (PA 5610 .K39 Z6713 1952)
South Africa: Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee.
(PR 9369.3 .C58 W3 1982)
France: A Very Long Engagement by Sebastian Japrisot.
(PQ 2678 .O72 J3613 1994))
England: Possession by A.S. Byatt. (PR 6052 .Y2 P6 1990)
Scotland: Black Dogs by Ian McEwan. (PR 6063 .C4 B5 1999)
Sri Lanka: The English Patient, by Michael Odantje. (PR 9199.3 .O5 E54 1993)
Egypt: The Cairo Trilogy by Naghib Maufouz. (PJ 7846 .A46 C35 2001)
Columbia: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
(PQ 8180.17 .A73 C513 1970)
United States: The Shipping News by Annie Proulx. (PS 3566 .R697 S4 1994)
LT Jesko Hagee, Electrical Engineering Department:
The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat (PR 6025 .O36 C7 1988, Audiotape: PR 6025 .O36 C7 1977, Videotape: PR 6025 .O36 C7 1993)
Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian (PR 6029 .B55 M28 1990, Audiotape: PR 6029 .B55 M28 1992)
Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert Heinlein (PS 3515 .E288 S87, Audiotape: PS 3515 .E288 S87 1997
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (PT 2665 .N27 N39 1997)
The Cruel Sea is the story of a Royal Navy corvette during WWII and an extremely realistic portrayal of life at sea in the North Atlantic. Master and Commander is the first of the 20 volume Aubrey/Maturin series, often considered to be one of the best series of sea adventures ever written. This historical fiction is based loosely on the life and career of Admiral Lord Cochrane. Stranger In A Strange Land is possibly Heinlein's (an Academy grad) most well known work and is more than a good science fiction story - it is also a commentary on modern society and religion (though it reads just as well for pure entertainment value!). The Neverending Story is the tale of a unpopular boy whose only escape from his dreary life is books. The lesson it teaches and the story it tells are a must read for anyone who often enjoys the simple escape of reading a good book.
Major A. J. Heideman, Executive Assistant to the Academic Dean:
How Should We Then Live by Francis Schaeffer. (BR 115 .C5 S33 1976)
The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill. (Book: D 805 .G3 B713, Videotape: D 805 .G3 B713 1996)
The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell.
(BS 480 .M384 1999)
The Book of Romans, New Testament
How Should We Then Live presents a view of Western History from a Conservative Christian perspective, which is completely askew from the view that secular historians present. This work was important for helping to frame my world view in a manner consistent with Scripture. The Great Escape provides lessons in leadership, bravery, initiative, selflessness and other Leadership Traits in relating the true story of how 76 British Prisoners escaped from a German POW camp during WWII. An amazing story!
The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict was instrumental in helping me answer questions about the reliability of the Scriptures, the historical proofs for the validity of Jesus' claims to be the Messiah, and provided me an understanding about my need to have a relationship with God. The Book of Romans is a most significant book to read. Everyone should be aware, if not familiar with its contents. For me, understanding the truths it contains and striving to live and apply them is the core of my life. The Apostle Paul explains how people, no matter how hard they try, cannot please God on their own. Indeed, even though God loves us, because He is holy we cannot earn His favor with what we do. It is only by accepting the gift God gives us, Jesus, and by devoting ourselves to living according to Scripture that we can please God and have a relationship with Him. By making God's priorities our priorities, we are able to live a rich, rewarding and meaningful life.
Associate Professor William Heuer, Chemistry Department:
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn.
(Q 175 .K95 1996)
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Persig.
(CT 275 .P6483 D57 1990)
Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey. (PS 3561 .E667 S6 1988)
Professor Michael Hoffman, Mathematics Department:
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, by Charles Mackay. (AZ 999 .M2 1932)
The Ancient Economy, by M. I. Finley. (HC 31 .F5)
Plagues and Peoples, by William H. McNeill. (RA 649 .M3)
A History of Western Philosophy, by Bertrand Russell. (B 72 .R8)
Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas R. Hofstadter. (QA 9.8 .H63)
On the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin. (QH 365 .O2 1979)
On Evolution, by John Maynard Smith. (QH 366.2 .M3919)
Charles Mackays book, first published in 1841, is the classic study of market bubbles and mass hysteria. The most popular chapters are those on the Dutch tulipomania of the seventeenth century and the English South-sea bubble, but theres plenty of good material throughout the book on human greed and credulity; and it is remarkable how much of the same behavior has appeared on the Internet the past few years. Finleys book makes two points that left an impression with me: (1) the paucity of primary sources makes ancient history a difficult subject to really know much about; and (2) the ancient world was quite different from our own in many ways, and uncritical applications of modern economic concepts like the labor market or the balance of payments can produce a very distorted view of the Greco-Roman reality. Plagues and Peoples is a really pathbreaking work, looking at the whole of human history through the lens of epidemic disease. Russells history of Western philosophy is the most readable work on the subject I know. In Godel, Escher, Bach, Hofstadter accomplishes a truly remarkable feat: he makes a major result of twentieth-century mathematical logic accessible to someone without formal training in mathematics (which is not to say the book is an easy read). Darwins book is a scientific classic, and still relevant to current research in a way that, say, Newtons Principia is not. The chief weakness in Darwins argument was a lack of knowledge about genetics, a gap which is filled nicely by Maynard Smiths very readable book. (Maynard Smith, whose first career was in aircraft design, was arguably the twentieth centurys most important mathematical biologist.)
Assistant Professor P. J. Joyce, Mechanical Engineering Department:
Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. (QH 81 .L56 1966)
Citizen Soldiers: the U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany, June 7, 1944-May 7, 1945. Stephen Ambrose. (Book: D 756 .A52 1997, Audiotape: D 756 .A52 1997b)
Seven Days in May by Fletcher Knebel. (PS 3561 .N4 S48 1962)
Inviting Disaster: Lessons From the Edge of Technology: An Inside Look at Catastrophes and Why They Happen by James Chiles. (T 174.5 .C57 2001)
To Engineer is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design by Henry Petroski. (Book: TA 174 .P474 1985, Videotape: TA169.5 .W52 1997 Title: When Engineering Fails.)
Skunk Works by Ben Rich and Leo Janos. (TL 565 .R53 1994)
Airframe by Michael Crichton. (PS 3553 .R48 A77 1996)
Professor David Joyner, Mathematics Department:
Here are three books on spiritual growth, two from the Judao-Christian perspective and one from the Buddhist perspective.
The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck. (BF 637 .S4 P43)
The Path to Tranquility by the Dalai Lama. (BQ 5580 .B77 1999)
The Book of Jewish Values by Joseph Telushkin. (BJ 1285 .T45 2000)
Ideas and Opinions by Albert Einstein (QC 71 .E54 1954) gives the non-technical side of Einstein's thinking.
Hilbert, by Constance Reid (QA 29 .H5 R42 1986) is a biography of my favorite mathematician.
Commander Mary Kelly, History Department:
In Love and War: the Story of a Family's Ordeal and Sacrifice During the Vietnam Years by Jim and Sybil Stockdale. (DS 559.4 .S75 1984)
This People's Navy by Kenneth J. Hagan. (E 182 .H26 1991)
The Tragedy of Great Power Politics by John Mearsheimer. (D 397 .M38 2001)
Peter the Great, His Life and World by Robert K. Massie. (DK 131 .M28 1980)
Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond. (Book: HM 206 .D48 1997, CD: HM 206 .D48 2001)
Tuesdays With Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom. (LD 571 .B418 S383 1998)
Professor Mark Kidwell, Mathematics Department:
I recommend The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White (PE 1480 .S772 2000). Here are three groups of people who should not read this book:
1. Writers who get paid by the word.
2. Students who think that a ten page paper is more
likely to get a good grade than a five page paper.
3. People who think obscurity is a virtue.
This book makes the strongest possible case for keeping your writing clear, lean and clean. The edition I have is 78 pages long, so the authors practice what they preach.
VADM William P. Lawrence, Retired:
George Washington, A Biography by Douglas Southall Freeman.
(E 312 .F83)
R. E. Lee, A Biography by Douglas Southall Freeman.
(E 467.1 .L4 F83 1943)
Nimitz by E. B. Potter. (V 63 .N55 P67)
American Caesar, Douglas MacArthur, 1880 1964 by William Manchester. (E 745 .M3 M27)
Master of Sea Power, A Biography of Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King by Thomas Buell. (V 63 .K56 B83 1995)
Here are the books that have been most helpful/inspirational to me in my career. Each is a biography of great men in U.S. history. Their examples helped me very much in shaping my own life and career as a military officer. The biography of Washington is a six volume work. I would recommend that each Midshipman read at least the first three volumes.
Assistant Professor Lawrence Lengbeyer, LEL (Ethics, Philosophy)
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. (PR 4621 .C6 1973)
Complete Tales & Poems of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne. (PR 6025 .I65 W45 2001)
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. (PQ 2603 .E378 E645 1989)
Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman. (DS 135 .P63 S68 1997)
Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. (Music Collection at Circulation Desk)
On Liberty by John Stuart Mill. (JC 585 .M6 1985)
Following a childhood occupied with the riveting stories of the Hardy Boys, Enid Blyton's adventuresome children, and Superman and his Justice League of America allies, I spent my adolescence continuing to lose myself in thrilling and mysterious stories, including J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy and Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo. But some stories--the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, and also Alistair Maclean's spy thrillers--began to shape my conception of the kind of person I most highly valued and dreamt of becoming: the perfect thinker, who employs a heightened perceptiveness and flawless reasoning ability in order to accomplish fine things, his mental power and rational self-control totally unhampered by emotion or pain. This has long since ceased to be my ideal, but some version of it remains an important aspect of that ideal. And I still greatly enjoy--and recommend--the Sherlock Holmes tales, both for their intriguing portrait of an acute mind in action and for their atmospheric depiction of a murky, moory, sinister England.
It was only a bit later in life--when I was 21, in fact--that I discovered, and discovered that I loved, the Winnie the Pooh books. The Bear of Very Little Brain and his friends are a far cry from the austerely ratiocinating detective, but they are utterly charming, and reading about their escapades offers plentiful laughs as well as valuable inspiration to keep a part of oneself forever childlike.
More laughs are provided by the absurd dialogue in Waiting for Godot, which I recommend as a representative of the underappreciated category of drama. We don't ordinarily think of reading plays for fun; but they are as spellbinding, amusing, and enlightening as novels or short stories. Check them out!
Other categories are easily overlooked, too. First, comics: their special combination of text and graphics has in recent years been turned to profound ends. Maus, a beautifully drawn true saga of one family's experience of the Holocaust (Auschwitz and all), is a compelling page-turner of a story--but you'll find yourself struggling to rein in your curiosity so you can occasionally linger over the intricate drawings. Second, music: no, I suppose this recommendation does not strictly belong on a library recommended-reading list, but I cannot pass up the opportunity to plead that anyone who might possibly develop an interest in jazz listen to Miles Davis' Kind of Blue album. Listen to its cool sound, gently pulsing rhythms, and wonderfully melodic improvisations by several of the great figures in jazz history--soon you'll be pushing it onto all your friends, too.
Finally: philosophy, my intellectual passion. Unfortunately, the books that did the most to arouse my interest in devoting a career to the subject--Ludwig Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, Martin Heidegger's Being & Time, and Hans-Georg Gadamer's Truth & Method--are (surprise!) not readily comprehensible. Still, even if their riches will be accessible only to the most determined midshipmen, a book like the Investigations can provide other readers with some neat ideas plus the sense that something deep and true is being discussed--which is nothing to sneeze at, and basically all that I was able to extract on my own first encounter. But everyone in the Brigade is capable of understanding the ingenious, important arguments by John Stuart Mill in On Liberty on behalf of freedom of expression and action. His message--think for yourself, don't allow social pressures to overrule your own judgment--is one that we all need to reconnect with periodically during our lives.
Associate Professor Joseph F. Lomax, Chemistry:
The Peter Principle by Laurence Peter. (PN 6231 .M2 P4 1969)
The Chemist's English by Robert Schoenfeld. (PE 1475 .S29 1985)
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. (Book: PQ 4315 .D87 1996, Videotape: PQ 4315.17 .C57 1998)
The Peter Principle is essential for anyone with a sense of humor, who needs to work in a hierarchy. It is humorous and deadly in its insight. The Chemist's English is an amusing, helpful discussion of the pit-falls in scientific writing. Any scientist, engineer, or person subjected to scientific writing should enjoy this. The Divine Comedy contains everything necessary to write and think. It is wonderful to read just for the joy brought by the pure inventiveness of description of natural phenomena. A writer, a scientist (observer) or a thinker should be helped by reading this.
Professor Robert Madison, English Department:
Seven Pillars of Wisdom, by T. E. Lawrence. (D 568.4 .L4 1935b) WWII in the desert: terrorism against the Turks as an Arab political tool.
Log from The Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. (F 1246 .S78 1951) Two marine biologists explore life from sex to sea urchins: non-teleological thought.
The Dermis Probe, by Idries Shah. (PN 6071 .S85 S49 1980) Humorous Sufi teaching stories: nonlinear thought.
Zorba the Greek, by Nikos Kazantzakis. (PA 5610 .K39 Z6713 1952) The Anthony Quinn-Alan Bates movie screenplay may be much better than Wildman's book translation, but it's only half the story.
Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres, by Henry Adams. (DC 20 .A2 1913) A deeply beautiful book on architecture and spirituality.
Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. (PS 3048 . A1 1970) Simplifying your life: how to live and what to live for.
The Riddle of the Sands, by Erskine Childers. Book: PR 6005 .H52 R52 1995, Sound recording: PR6005.H52 R52 1989) A great spy novel for small-boat sailors.
News from Nowhere, by William Morris. (HX 811 .1890 .M62) A gentle utopian romance by the founder of the Arts and Crafts movement.
Professor Reza Malek-Madani, Director of Research:
The Conference of the Birds by Farid ud-Din Attar (12th Century Persian Poet) (PK 6451 .F4 M2813 1984)
After Virtue by Alasdair MacInytre. (BJ 1012 .M325 1984)
The Evolution of Physics by Albert Einstein (QC 7 .E5)
CAPT Joseph C. McGowan, Electrical Engineering Department:
QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter by Richard Feynman.
(QC 793.5 .P422 F48 1985)
Moby Dick by Herman Melville. (PS 2384 .M6 1989,
Audiotape: PS 2384 .M6 1987, Videotape: PS 2384 .M6 M62 1990)
Einstein's Dreams by Alan P. Lightman.
(PS 3562 .I45397 E38 1993)
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco. (PQ 4865 .C3 P4613 1989)
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics and one of the most important scientists of the recent past, Richard Feynman was noted for his uncommon ability to explain any subject to any audience. In this book he took on Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) and captured its essence for a "general public" with limited scientific background. Amazing and fun. His collections of personal stories (Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman QC 16 .F49 A37 1985, Audiotape: QC 16 .F49 A37 1998) are hilarious and would be appreciated by midshipmen who like the occasional practical joke.
Moby Dick is a wonderful companion for us who go down to the sea in ships. As W.F. Buckley said regarding Melville (and Moby Dick), "The sucker could write!"
Einstein's Dreams is a quick read that confronts the reader with fundamental questions regarding time - and provides ideas that one returns to often. It is also tremendous fun to think about and to talk about.
Foucault's Pendulum is a wonderfully convoluted story - a bit more challenging than the others, but worth the investment of time and mental energy.
Assistant Professor Mark McWilliams, English Department:
Some American Essentials:
Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life (E449 .D75 D68 1997)
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (PS 3555 .L625 I53)
William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom! (PS 3511 .A86 A65 1951)
Toni Morrison, Beloved (PS 3563 .O8749 B4 1987, Videorecording: PS 3563 .O8749 B4 1998)
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians (PR 9369.3 .C58 W3 1982)
Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day (PR 6059 .S5 R46 1990)
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian (PS 3563 .C337 B4 2001)
Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger (PR 6071 .N8 S3 1992)
Friedrich Nietzsche, Birth of Tragedy (B 3313 .G42 E55 1990)
Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (BF 173 .F682 1962)
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (JK216 .T713 2000)
Professor Walter Meier, Oceanography Department:
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. (PS 3559 . R8 P7 1990). An examination of religion and faith. A discussion of the effects of the Vietnam War on America. A view of small-town Americana. This book is all of these. But mostly it's a coming-of-age story about two best friends. It's hilariously funny and achingly heartbreaking - often both at the same time.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. (Book: PS 3511 .I9 G7 1991, Audiotape: PS 3511 .I9 G74 1997). The quintessential American novel. It's about how America is continually trying to overcome its history, reaching towards a future that's already gone. Though set in the 1920s, it's just as relevant today.
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie. (PR 6068 .U757 M5 1995). An epic story of the birth of India and Pakistan as nations, told through the coming-of-age story of a young Indian boy. Its discussion of Hinduism and Islam are particularly relevant now.
How the Mind Works by Stephen Pinker. (QP 360.5 P56 1997). Ever wonder how children learn language? Or why humans commit murder, adultery and other immoral acts? Or how and why humans define "beauty"? Or why humans are so affected by music, art, religion? This book addresses the latest theories on all these questions and more. It changed the way I look at the world.
Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. (HM 206 .D48 1997). Why did Europe develop the technology to travel to America and conquer the native Americans instead of the other way around? This book answers that question (it wasn't because Europeans were morally, religiously or racially superior) and more.
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn. (E 169.1 Z53 1980). American history as told through the eyes of lower and middle classes instead of the wealthy and the ruling elite. It's an eye-opener to a part of American history that isn't generally covered in classes.
Assistant Professor Paul Miller, Naval Architecture, Ocean, and Marine Engineering Department:
The Machine That Changed the World, by James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, and Daniel Roos. (HD 9710 .A2 W65 1990)
To Engineer is Human, by Henry Petroski. (Book: TA 174 .P474 1985, Videotape: TA169.5 .W52 1997 Title: When Engineering Fails.)
The Hornblower stories by C. S. Forester.
While nominally about the automobile industry The Machine That Changed the World actually characterizes the conflicts between the social, economic, environmental and management aspects of technology. It shows the value of embracing the concept of continuous improvement in manufacturing and in our personal lives. Anyone interested in engineering or cars would enjoy this book. To Engineer is Human addresses major engineering projects and looks at both the successes and failures. It points out the important concept that everyone is responsible for the success or failure of any project. As the book describes some of the most ambitious projects ever created by man, it is also simply interesting reading on how these projects came about. The Hornblower books chronicle the life of a fictitious naval officer struggling with the concepts of honor, bravery, perseverance and addressing your weaknesses. Great action scenes combined with the joy of sailing are punctuated by ethical lessons. I have read all of them at least three times.
Professor Clair E. Morris, Economics:
The Worldly Philosophers by Robert Heilbroner. (HB 76 .H4 1999) An excellent source of alternative perspectives on economic thinking through the ages.
Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman. (HB 501 .F7) An articulate expression of conservative economic viewpoints.
Free to Choose by Milton Friedman. (HB 501 .F72) A statement that does much to explain American social policies.
Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery by Robert W. Fogel and Stanley L Engerman. (E 449 .F65) A classic statement about the past that explains much of the present.
Professor Maria Castro de Moux, Language Studies Department:
Don Quijote by Miguel de Cervantes (PQ 6329 .A2) If read in English the Everyman classic edition of early 20th century or the Thomas Shelton (Elizabethan English) editions are very good. A great example of an ideal that is upheld no matter what the circumstances and damage to the self, with Sancho Panza's restraining voice of reality. A compendium of Spain as the empire was about to deteriorate. The ideal knight errant who gallantly accepts the end, but not before insisting on improving this world through many and untried adventures.
Politics, by Aristotle (JC 71 .A41 L67 1985) The first chapters are a wonderful primer on the causes of revolutions. What he said centuries ago, it still is as fresh as yesterday.
The Poems of St. John of the Cross (PQ 6400 .J8 A26 1989) If you want to understand what soul is and why the soul seeks the spirit, read his poetry.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (PQ 8180.17.A73 C5 1969) Rabassa's translation (on order) is splendid. This is the Don Quijote for Latin America. On the manifestation of spiritual beliefs in everyday life. The best way to understand why Latin America has struggled with modernity and may never be able to digest it.
The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare (PR 2825 .A2 M87 1987, Audiotape: PR 2825.A2 G7 1995, Videotape: PR 2825 .A23 1987) If you want to understand the meaning of justice and mercy and how, in order to avoid vengeance, we must traverse the middle road, read this wonderful play. Justice without pity is always vengeance.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (PG 3365 .A613 1965b) On the plight of women before our times, so that Anna's choice is needed no more.
A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner (PS 3511.A86 R6 1970) On how the South resembles Latin American magic realism.
Psalms of David (BS 1424 .P73 1996) Most inspiring spiritual poetry that should help you in life.
Edgar Allan Poe [Complete Works] (PS 2601 .H3 1965) Any of his poems or stories. Read all over Latin America and France.
Associate Professor Herbert Neustadt, Electrical Engineering:
Complete series of Horatio Hornblower books by C. S. Forester. The Hornblower books are adventure stories of how a British Naval officer, modeled after Horatio Nelson, the hero of Trafalgar, fought Napoleon's forces all around the world. I recommend the Hornblower books to all midshipmen. After I had read the books, I felt that I understood better what it is to be a Naval Officer, and what the Naval Academy tries to do.
CDR Robert Niewoehner, Aerospace Engineering Department:
Can Man Live Without God? by Ravi Zacharias. (BR 128 .A8 Z33 1994b)
Miracle of Flight by Stephen Dalton (TL 570 .D35 1999)
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (PQ 2286 .A33 1982)
Horatio Hornblower series, C.S. Forester. (11 titles)
The Bible - In the words of Scottish reformers: "The Word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament is the only rule God has given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him." Zacharias is among the three most important Christian thinkers of the 20th Century. Can Man Live without God? elegantly portrays the bankruptcy of atheism to provide any meaning or motive in our lives. Miracle of Flight exhibits the finest insect, bird and manned flight pictures found anywhere. The technical discussion richly supports the contention that flight is indeed miraculous. Les Miserables stands among the richest novels of all time, vividly portraying the challenge faced by the Christian life of being not merely redeemed by God, but redemptive in the lives of those about us. Forester's accounts of the life of Horatio Hornblower first enflamed my boyhood interest in becoming a Naval Officer.
Professor David Peeler, History Department:
1919 by John Dos Passos (vol II of his USA trilogy) (PS 3507 .O743 U5 1946)
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. (PS 3555 .L625 I53)
I would rank these among the best American fiction of the twentieth century. Both are challenging reads, and each deals with significant themes (World War I and its aftermath in the first case, the nature of American racism in the second). And both authors have created masterful pieces of art. I admire Dos Passos for the conciseness of the autobiographical sections of his novel, and Ellison for his elliptical grandness.
Lt Cdr Richard Pethybridge, RN, Seamanship and Navigation Department:
HMS Ulysses by Alastair MacLean. (Paine M163hm 1955)
The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat (PR 6025 .O36 C7 1988,
Audiotape: PR 6025 .O36 C7 1977, Videotape: PR 6025 .O36 C7 1993)
Longitude by Dava Sobel (QB 225 .S63)
Girl in a Swing by Richard Adams. (PR 6051 .D345 G57 1981)
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. (PZ 10.3 .B123 Jo)
MacLean served in the Royal Navy during World War II, and used his experiences to craft HMS Ulysses. Although he went on to become a generic thriller writer, he never surpassed the achievement of this his first book. It is the story of an RN cruiser on convoy protection duty on the UK to Murmansk run. The personal interactions and descriptions of conditions are masterful, and leave you stunned to think of what life must have been like on those Russian convoys. The Cruel Sea is another WW II Royal Navy book, but a different setting (the North Atlantic) and different style. Monsarrat also served in the RN, and his experiences in corvettes fighting against the U-boat threat are reflected in this book. It also describes something of the lives being lived back in England by the wives and girlfriends of the crews of the ships, giving great insight into life "on the other side" of the military-civilian divide. Longitude is the story of one man's single-minded determination to prove that what he believed was right, with the end result being possibly the most fundamental development in navigation since the discovery of magnetism. Girl in a Swing is a strange book in many ways, but one which I have read several times and got more out of on each occasion. Not to everyone's taste, but I guarantee you will finish it once you have started it. Jonathan Livingston Seagull is an allegorical tale about a seagull for whom flying skill is the ultimate goal, while all those around him are more concerned with eating. Beautifully written and illustrated, it is spiritually uplifting and has a marvelous feel-good effect when you finish it.
Assistant Professor Jenelle Piepmeier, Systems Engineering:
A Godward Life: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All Life (Book 1) by John Piper. (BV 4501.2 .P55436 1997 v.1)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff--And It's All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. (BF 637 .B4 C35 1997)
The Woman's Guide to Navigating the Ph.D. in Engineering and Science, by Barbara B. Lazarus, Lisa M. Ritter, and Susan A. Ambrose. (TA 157 .L385 2001)
Talking From 9 To 5: How Women's And Men's Conversational Styles Affect Who Gets Heard, Who Gets Credit, and What Gets Done at Work by Deborah Tannen. (HF 5718 .T36 1994)
A Godward Life and Don't Sweat the Small Stuff remind me to balance my priorities in my busy life. The Woman's Guide to Navigating the Ph.D. in Engineering and Science is one I wish I'd read before going to graduate school. It is very well written and researched. Talking from 9 to 5 explains the different conversational styles used by men and women, and I feel that reading it has improved my communcation skills. If you feel like people do not listen when you talk, this book might help you understand why.
Professor Anne Quartararo, History:
Letters and Papers from Prison by Deitrich Bonhoeffer. (BX 4827 .B57 A34 1972)
Markings by Dag Hammarskjold. (D 839.7 .H3 A313)
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. (PR 6031.A757 C78 1948)
Professor Carl S. Schneider, Physics Department:
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
(CT 275 .P648 A33)
Magnetic Induction in Iron and Other Metals by Sir James Alfred Ewing (1892) (On Order)
The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism by Fritof Capra. (QC 6 .C277b)
Order Out of Chaos: Man's New Dialogue With Nature by Ilya Prigogine. (Q 175 .P8823 1984)
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. (JC 143 .M3813 1997)
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:
The detail which Pirsig displays in caring for and enjoying a motorcycle has parallels in any career, hobby, marriage or religion. It is only when you lose your identity in the object of your attention that you become one with it and you transcend mere reason to an indescribable level of awareness and being.
Magnetic Induction in Iron and Other Metals:
The purity of scientific observation by Lord Ewing over a century ago shows how any researcher must approach the unknown: with humility and honesty.
The Tao of Physics:
The laws of physics transcend data, words and symbolic mathematics to become processes and understanding. The Tai Chi represents the transformation from intuitive to deductive to intuitive etc. Experimental and theoretical physics become one in a never ending dance.
Order Out of Chaos:
The development of understanding begins with chaotic abundance of observations which condense into a simpler state of understanding through a process which may or may not be describable.
The complexity of human interactions is simplified through definition of goals and procedures, which is the heart of the scientific method.
Assistant Professor Michael Schultz, Naval Architecture, Ocean, and Marine Engineering Department:
Civil War, A Narrative (3 Volumes) by Shelby Foote. (E 468 .F7)
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. (Book: PS 3537 .T3234 C35 1945, Videotape: PS 3537 .T3234 C35 1993)
Fly Fishing in Salt Water, Lefty Kreh. (SH 456.2 .K73 1997)
An Introduction to Fluid Dynamics by G.K. Batchelor.
(QA 911 .B33 1999)
A First Course in Turbulence by J.L. Lumley and H. Tennekes.
(QA 913 .T44)
I am a bit of a Civil War buff and in my opinion Civil War, A Narrative is the best book on the subject. Shelby Foote not only offers detailed Civil War history and facts but also uses narrative to let you feel some of the emotions of the people who were there. I am a fan of any novel that can describe a scene so vividly that you are there. In Cannery Row, John Steinbeck's words actually allow the reader to smell the sardine plants and salty air of the Monterey waterfront. Saltwater flyfishing is one of my favorite hobbies, and Lefty Kreh's Fly Fishing in Salt Water was one of the first and is still the best book on the subject. My main area of research is fluid dynamics. An Introduction to Fluid Dynamics and A First Course in Turbulence are books that give an excellent background on the basic concepts of fluid dynamics.
LCDR George E. Segredo, USN, Professional Development
Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield (PS 3566.R3944 G38 1998)
Tides of War by Steven Pressfield (PS 3566.R3944.T54 2001)
Virtues of War by Steven Pressfield (PS 3566.R3944 V57 2004)
Jack Aubrey / Stephen Maturin Series by Patrick O'Brian.
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein (PS3515.E288 S75 1997)
Pressfield's trilogy examines the development of three Greek cultures by examining a leader of each: Leonidas, the Spartan lord who lead during the Battle at Thermopylae; Alcibiades, the Athenian general during the Pelopponesian War; and Alexander the Great. Though technically fiction, these are historically accurate and vivid tales which will keep the interest of Midshipmen while teaching much about leadership.
The twenty Jack Aubrey / Stephen Maturin books are quick reads that not only look at life in the Royal Navy, the root of many of our traditions, but also analyze the relationships between captain and crew and how our careers mold our relationships at home. Vivid and roughly based on the life of Admiral Lord Cochrane.
Based in a science fiction setting, the true worth of Starship Troopers is in the discussions on "History and Moral Philosophy" which analyze society and the military's role in society as well as looking at how leaders are developed.
Assistant Professor Todd Sikora, Oceanography Department:
Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew (VB 231.U54 S65 1998, Audiotape: VB 231 .U54 S65 1999). This book gives a voice to the silent service.
Cat's Craddle by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (PS 3572 .O5 C38 1963b). A must for any scientist.
Clouds in a Glass of Beer: Simple Experiments in Atmospheric Physics by Craig Bohren (QC 861.2 .B64 1987). This book is authored by my favorite professor, and is one of two books I read to prepare for my candidacy exams.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (PR 5397 .F73 1912, Audiotape: PR 5397 .F7 1994). A must for any human.
"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman": Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard Feynman (QC 16.F49 A37, Audiotape: QC 16 .F49 A37 1998). A look into the soul of the eccentric physicist, Richard Feynman.
Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey (PS 3551 .B2 Z463 1988). This book is a passionate description of Abbey's life as a park ranger in the American West. Read with caution, however, as Abbey will likely offend many of you.
Assistant Professor Robert Stone, Language Studies Department:
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. (PG 3476 .Z34 W4) One of the great dystopian novels of the last century, along with 1984 and Brave New World, both of which it predates.
Pereira Declares by Antonio Tabucchi. (PQ 4880 .A24 S6613 1995) A novel of life under dictatorship.
Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes. (PR 6052 .A6657 F56 1990) The book that makes all biographies inaccurate.
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink. (PT 2680 .L54 V6713 1998) Raises delicate issues of blame for the Holocaust.
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie. (PR 6068 .U757 M5 1995) The birth of modern India, as told by a great stylist with an unstoppable imagination.
London Fields by Martin Amis. (PR 6051 .M5 L6 1991) Charles Dickens for the 1990's.
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman.
(RA 418.5 .T73 F33 1997) A compelling work of non-fiction about a tragic clash of cultures in modern-day California.
Professor Craig Symonds, History:
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. (Book: PS 3569 .H2 K55 1975, Audiotape: PS 3569 .H2 K55 1994, Videotape: PS 3569 .H2 K55 1993)
The General by C. S. Forester. (PR 6011 .O56 G4 1982)
Captain Horatio Hornblower by C. S. Forester (PR 6011 .O56 C36 1967) (or any other Hornblower novel)
The Civil War: A Narrative (3 Volumes) by Shelby Foote. (E 468 .F7)
The Two Ocean War by S. E. Morison. (D 773 .M62)
Battle Cry by Leon Uris. (PS 3541 .R46 B38 1953)
The Black Flower, Howard Bahr. (PS 3552 .A3613 B57 1997)
All of these books deal with military history in its broadest context. Shaara, Forester, and Uris are novelists, but their stories of humans in combat are more than mere adventure; they illuminate the dilemma of leadership and the psychology of warfare. Foote and Morison are gifted writers who provide a narrative history of America's greatest land and sea conflicts with a minimum of academic impedimenta. All of these books can be read for pleasure as well as for enlightenment.
LT Matthew Testerman, Naval Flight Officer, Political Science Department:
Brave Ship, Brave Men by Arnold S. Lott. (D 774 .A2 L6 1994)
The Children's Story by James Clavell. (PS 3553 .L365 C5 1989)
University Physics by Frank Sears and Mark Zemansky.
(QC 21.2 .S36 1976)
Strategies of Containment by John Lewis Gaddis. (E 774 .G24 1982)
The Collected Verse of A B Paterson by A B "Banjo Paterson. (PR 9619.3 .P28 A17 1982)
Brave Ship, Brave Men, better than any other book I have read about the Navy, set in my mind the core essence of the Navy: the stresses of combat at sea, the relief of returning home, the shear grunt work of sailors. The book is still on my shelf (since youngster year) with a scrap of paper between the pages on which I annotated my favorite passages among which is "The quartermaster knew the importance of good coffee he had been on a ship which had no coffee pot on the bridge, and she got sunk.
I read James Clavell's work The Children's Story in high school and, although I do not have a copy of this short book in my possession, its powerful imagery remains with me to this day. It defines American values and obligations for me. A list of most valuable and treasured readings cannot omit University Physics. One month before my second semester physics final, I realized I had not learned a thing, and that I could not decipher the assigned text. I asked my dad to send me his 2nd edition Sears and Zemansky from his days at Cal Poly in the mid-60s. Armed with this text, I taught myself a semester of physics in Nimitz library over four exhausting weeks. I pulled a B on the final and am now forever in debt to the skill and clarity of the authors. Continuing in this vein of exhorting books written with clarity and precision, Strategies of Containment is amongst the best I have read in my political science studies. It is the comprehensive guide to strategies during the Cold War. Finally, Prof Fetrow, my plebe English prof, turned me on to poetry. For an escape from reality, or a break from day to day stresses, I turn to Banjo Paterson's poetry of the Australian outback. It brings back great memories and takes me to a better place, if only for a moment. Everyone needs a book like this, preferably close at hand.
Professor Larry V. Thompson, History Department:
Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis. (PR 6001 .M6L8 1976)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
(Book: PR 4611 .A7 1983, Videotape: PR 4611 .A73 A43 1994)
Maxims by La Rochefoucauld. (PQ 1815 .A7 1940)
Faust by Johann Goethe. (PT 2026 .F2 P25)
Parade's End by Ford Maddox Ford. (PR 6011 .O53 P37 1950)
While these works are recognized "pieces" within our western literary museum, their enduring value for me is their prescriptive rather than their literary value. All demonstrate the futility of lives consumed by ambition and cynical world weariness on the one hand and thwarted by unremitting naivete or an opportunistic "go along to get along" attitude on the other. In this sense, their message is didactic. Yet, while their meaning is indeed instructive, their most important contribution might well be the realization that we usually ignore the lesson and invariably have to relearn it from our own experience.
Associate Professor Kenneth L. Tuttle, Mechanical Engineering Department:
Escaping the Hostility Trap by Milton Layden. (BF 575 .H6 L39 1977)
Emergence of Man (Time/Life Series) Some volumes in this series are:
The Empire Builders. (DS 66 .H5)
The First Americans. (E 77 .C57)
The First Farmers. (S 421 .L46)
The First Horsemen. (SF 280 .T7)
The First Men. (GN 768 .F57 1973)
The Metalsmiths. (TT 205 .K57)
The Neanderthals. (GN 285 .C66)
The Northmen. (DL 65 .F7)
The Persians. (DS 275 .H5)
In Escaping the Hostility Trap, Dr. Layden explains the feeling of anger. I feel most angry when I feel manipulated. This makes complete sense after learning that people become angry only if they are made to feel inferior. We do not become inferior; we merely feel inferior and that makes us feel anger. Sir Isaac Newton is credited with being one of the three most intelligent individuals of all time. Yet, contemporaries grabbing credit for his discoveries caused those feelings in Newton. In anger, he responded by refusing to publish further work until after he died. The most likely and most important Hostility Traps to escape include your employer, your spouse and your family. This is a fascinating book that I think anyone will enjoy and gain from reading.
Geometry, an academic subject rather than a specific book, may have been one of the most influential subjects I have studied. I learned a logical and conclusive thought process. One effective process, when trying to determine whether information is fact or fiction, is to think "This is true if that is true, and that is true if another assumption is true." The process needs to continue until one finds proven fact -- otherwise, every plausible story may become accepted as fact or cause confusion.
The Emergence of Man series was of particular interest to me because I had led such a sheltered life. Unfortunately, knowledge not sanctioned by the prevailing religion of the majority, often is repressed by school systems. I was fascinated by the knowledge presented in these volumes. In the earliest cities, more than eight thousand years ago, children went grumbling to class, according to what they wrote in clay, and Geometry was used to lay out the fields. I had thought the Greeks invented Geometry.
For me the Bible probably was most influential in shaping my view of life. Not because I am a religious person, but because the Bible is the most widely read book in our society that presents views on life. The morals or "commandments" it proclaims are fairly universal among teachings arrived at by all cultures, but I learned them from the Bible. Other important views that I gained I took out of context. In my mind, the main point of Jesus was that he thought an 'eye for an eye' should be dropped for 'turn the other cheek'. Because of that difference, I sense some contradictions in the Bible. However, suggesting contradictions exist in the Bible will cause some people to assert rather strongly, perhaps angrily, that contradictions are impossible. To me that is instructive about human nature. When people are defending positions held on faith they behave differently than when defending positions held based on quantitative evidence. Application: Middle East.
Assistant Professor Brian VanDeMark, History Department:
Tragedies, by Aeschylus. It is the moral sensibility of Aeschylus that gives his tragedies a lasting significance. People learn through suffering. Another supposition is that great prosperity leads to hubris that leads to insolence that leads to destruction. He drives his audience not merely to see but to understand. His tragedies transcend the limitations of time and place.
Discourses, by Epictetus. Like other Stoic philosophers, Epictetus attacks the persistent fears of man. He holds up internal calm and peace of mind as that which is finally to be desired. Peace of mind can be attained only through good judgment and, especially, self-discipline. The passages which exhort to self-control, point to one's obligations to the human community, and suggest that somehow or other God is in each man are inspiring.
American Slavery, American Freedom by Edmund S. Morgan. The race story goes back to the founding of the nation, and it's always going to be with us. Morgan brilliantly depicts the tragic intersection of slavery and freedom at the heart of the nation's founding: how interdependent they were, and how the freedom of some was built on the unfreedom of others.
Democracy In America, Alexis de Tocqueville. Tocqueville's great book is as relevant now as when it was first published in the mid-19th century, and it remains one of the most penetrating & astute portraits of American life, politics, and morals ever written--whether by an American or (as in this case) by a foreign visitor.
CDR Corky Vazquez, Leadership, Ethics & Law Department:
Tecumseh by John Sugden. (E 99 .S35 S86 1998) The story of the Shawnee Chief who organizes and leads an Indian nation during a desperate time in history. As you read the story, you'll understand why the figurehead in T-court is named after him.
Miracle at Philadelphia; the story of the Constitutional Convention, May to September, 1787 by Catherine Drinker Bowen. (JK 146 .B75) A great portrayal of the struggle our founding father endured to create the greatest living document of all time.
The United States Navy: 200 Years by Edward Beach. (VA 55 .B36 1986) An easy to read chronological account of the US Navy. All those names of points of interest and buildings in the yard actually belong to great Naval Officers who shaped our Navy into what it is today. I wish I had read this in my USNA history classes.
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. (PS 3556 .R3599 C6 1997) A wonderful tale of a wounded Confederate soldier who has had enough of the war and decides to leave his hospital and make the long journey back home to the hills of North Carolina. His story along the walk, makes you feel like you are walking with him.
Professor Mario Vieira, Oceanography:
The Story of San Michele (Le Livre de San Michele) by Axel Munthe. (PR 6025 .U69 S7)
The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) by Antoine de Saint Exupe'ry. (PQ 2637 .A274 P43713 1943)
Night Flight (Vol de Nuit) by Antoine de Saint Exupe'ry. In Airman's Odyssey.(PQ 2637 .A274 A23)
Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach. (PZ 10.3 .B123Jo)
The Story of San Michele is a wonderfully human, touching rendition of how the author, a physician and humanist, interprets the world and the people around him. The southern European, Mediterranean atmosphere permeates the work. Makes you smile, maybe even cry a little, but it certainly restores your belief in the human race, if only for a little while.
The Little Prince is a whimsical, poetic fable that takes us back to the curious, innocent child that we once were, while reflecting on what are real matters of consequence.
Night Flight is a beautifully written story of flying in the days of flimsy airplanes, crude maps and fatally unreliable weather predictions. Savor the authentic flavor of flying among the stars in the days of adventurous piloting.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull Be a Seagull: learn to fly in the pursuit of your dream. Be different and soar above all those fearful of departing from the rules of the flock. You will also enjoy a photographic album of birds in flight.
Prof. Sharon Voros, Language Studies Department:
Don Quixote by Cervantes. (Book: PQ 6329 .A2 1932, Videotape: PQ 6323 .A5 1993) The first modern novel.
Lazarillo of Tormes (Anonymous) (PC 4117 .A52 2000) The first picaresque novel.
Life is a Dream by Calderon de la Barca. (PQ 6292 .V5 C55 1998) Spain's most famous play of the seventeenth century.
Life of Teresa of Jesus translated by David Lewis. (BX 4700 .T4 A2 1991) Life of one of Spain's great mystics.
LT V. Walke, Computer Science Department:
All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren (PS 3545 .A748 A7 1996)
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (PS 3515 .E37 F67 1968, Videotape: PS 3515 .E37 F67 1995)
Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (PS 3566 .Y55 G7)
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (PQ 4865 .C6 N613 1983)
The Magus by John Fowles (PR 6056 .O85 M30)
The Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers (PS 3566 .O92 G65 1992)
All the King's Men is simply my favorite book of all time - exceptionally well written, it exposes the great conflicts the occur between power and ethics with the rise and fall of a southern politician.
For Whom the Bell Tolls - Nothing beats Hemingway for a war story filled with spirit and valor.
Gravity's Rainbow - This book was given to me by the proprietor of my home town used book store. Upon handing me the book, he said "You need to read this book before you die ... so, you might as well start now." I'll pass the recommendation to you with the same words. I've since read it twice.
The Magus has to be the most mind boggling book I've ever read (perhaps with the exception of Gravity's Rainbow). The only way I can describe it is a literary version of the movie "The Game." As I progressed through the book, I lost every bit of my grip on reality.
The Name of the Rose combines the best of history, philosophy and mystery - a must read.
The Gold Bug Variations is Richard Powers at his best, combining the mysteries of love with the quest for scientific knowledge.
Professor Richard Hume Werking, Library and History Department:
The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell
(PR 6029 .R8 A6), especially the opening, "Why I Write," and also his famous "Shooting an Elephant." The latter draws on Orwell's own experience as part of the British colonial apparatus in Burma.
The Tragedy of American Diplomacy by William Appleman Williams.
(E 744 .W56) A Naval Academy graduate in the class of 1945, Williams was a leading, and highly controversial, U.S. diplomatic historian of a revisionist bent. The strength of this influential book lies in some of the ideas, not in the details.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn. (Q 175 .K95 1970) Together with his brief 1962 article in SCIENCE, "Historical Structure of Scientific Discovery" [available via JSTOR at http://www.jstor.org/],
Kuhn's book draws the reader's attention to the nature of scientific discovery, distinguishing between event and process. One of the books most frequently assigned on American college campuses in the 1970s.
Disturbing the Universe by Freeman Dyson. (QC 16 .D95 A33 1979) An idea-rich autobiographical account from a prominent physicist, which discusses the making of the atomic bomb and includes good introductions to Robert Oppenheimer, Edward Teller, and Richard Feynman, among others.
The Sand Pebbles: A Novel by Richard McKenna. (Book: PS 3563 .A3155 S26 1984, videotape: PS 3563 .A3155 S26 1986) A highly regarded novel about the U.S. Navy's participation in gunboat diplomacy on Chinese rivers during our "isolationist" 1920's. The author himself was an enlisted man in the navy between 1931 and 1953, spending some of those years as a machinist's mate on a gunboat in China. In 1966 the book was made into a movie starring Steve McQueen [which the Nimitz Library also owns].
Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis.
(E 302.5 .E45 2000) In-depth portraits of the men (and Abigail Adams) who played leading roles in the political life of the new United States, detailing not only the tactical skirmishes but also the fierce ideological differences among the principals about what their nation's future direction should be. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
LCDR Robert A. Williams, Leadership, Ethics and Law Department:
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.
(PS 3568 .A85 W484 2001)
Dune by Frank Herbert. (PS 3558 .E63 D8 1999)
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. (Book: PS 3515 .E37 F67 1968, Videotape: PS 3515 .E37 F67 1995)
White Jacket by Herman Melville. (Book: PS 2384 .W5 1988, Audiotape: PS 2384 .W5 1983)
The Influence of Law on Seapower by D.P. O'Connell. (V 25 .O23)
Word of Honor by Nelson Demille. (PS 3554 .E472 W6 1985)
Every child in America should read the Rawls classic. If you have never read it, read it to your kids someday. Dune is still the best science fiction story every written. Herbert explores the limitless potential of the human animal and the human species. Hemingway's Robert Jordan is the essence of the warrior's self-image. White Jacket should be required reading for every Naval Officer. The enforcement of good order and discipline is just as difficult today as it was two hundred years ago. Mahan's The Influence of Seapower on History has become intertwined with our modern view on the role of the Navy in national affairs. O'Connell's treatise goes a step further and examines how international law has influenced the practice of Naval Warfare and the exercise of seapower throughout history. Although Word of Honor is a popular (i.e. fun-to-read) novel, it gives a fairly accurate portrayal of the court-martial process and asks the question: "what would we do if My Lai was not discovered until present day?"
Professor Els Withers, Mathematics Department:
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. (PS 3535 .A547 A94 1992)
The Tao is Silent by Raymond Smullyan.
(B 127 .T3 S65 1992)
The Cream of the Jest by James Branch Cabell.
(PS 3505 .A153 C7 2001)
My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass.
(E 449 .D7838 1968)
The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. (PS 1313 .A1 1996)
The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
(PS 3564 .I9 M6)
Atlas Shrugged, The Tao is Silent, The Cream of the Jest: I put these three together because each clearly and irrefutably explains the meaning and purpose of human existence. Not my fault that all three say different things. Atlas Shrugged is a landmark of the 20th century and the definitive Ayn Rand. If you don't know what that means, read it and find out. The standard cover blurb is a good description of this unique and controversial story: "a mystery story, not about the murder of a man's body, but about the murder--and rebirth--of man's spirit." The Tao is Silent is playful and fun to read, but it will challenge your everyday assumptions about your own identity, morality, and everything you take for granted--an interesting viewpoint on mysticism coming from a renowned logician. The Cream of the Jest is a dreamy Victorian novel, unhurried and witty, written in the days before richness of vocabulary and literary and historical allusion were considered something to be ashamed of. Felix Kennaston meets the love of his life only in his dreams, and even then he is forbidden to touch her. Nevertheless, he turns out to be perhaps the only member of the human race to realize perfect contentment. My Bondage and My Freedom provides a fascinating look at the everyday nuts and bolts of the American practice of slavery, but also is the ultimate story of the self-made man (or woman). Douglass's discovery of the principle that "Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave" still gives me goosebumps when I read it. The Innocents Abroad is a long, rambling, and entertaining manifesto on the mismatch between Americans and everyone else in the world, with lots of genuine Twain humor. Be aware, however: conditions in the Holy Land have changed quite a bit since this was written. Finally, I first read The Mote in God's Eye in high school and took it for simply a great adventure tale. Only much later did I realize that my first understanding of engineering philosophy and basic engineering principles came out of this book. And it's still a great story: science fiction with a strong naval flavor.
Professor John Wooten, English:
The Death of the Soul by William Barrett. (BD 421 .B33 1986)
Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton. (BR 121 .C5 1959)
Witness by Whittaker Chambers. (E 743.5 .C47)
Selected Poems by W. H. Auden. (PR 6001 .U4 A17 1959)
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. Book: PQ 4315 .D87 1996, Videotape: PQ 4315.17 .C57 1998)
The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott.
The Day of the Scorpion. (PR 6069 .C596 D39 1992)
A Division of the Spoils. (PR 6069 .C596 D58 1979)
The Jewel in the Crown. (PR 6069 .C596 J49 1979)
The Towers of Silence. (PR 6069 .C596 T68 1979)
The Death of the Soul is a brief but trenchant account of the devastating effects of modern philosophy on our understanding of the mind. Orthodoxy is a vividly written and richly argued defense of religious faith. Witness is a heroic conservative's powerful and moving personal account of the central political evil of our century: Communism. Auden is perhaps the most humane poet to write in English in our time. The Divine Comedy is the world's greatest poem and a treasure house of medieval Catholic wisdom and values. In addition to being powerful storytelling, The Raj Quartet is surely one of the most profound (as well as ambitious) literary treatments of racism, imperialism, multiculturalism, and identity written in the 20th Century.
Associate Professor Stephen Wrage, Political Science Department:
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. (PS 3556 .R3599 C6 1997)
The Face of Battle by John Keegan. (D 25. K43 1976)
The Once and Future King by T.H. White. (PR 6045 .H2 O52 1958)
Politics and the English Language, in The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell. (PR 6029 .R8 A6 1968)
Cold Mountain tells the story of Odysseus in the person of a deserter from the southern cause in the American Civil War making the long voyage home. The novel won the National Book Award two or three years ago. You shouldn't embark on a warrior's career without reading this, or John Keegan's non-fiction companion, The Face of Battle. The Once and Future King starts as a children's story (Disney made it into a cartoon called "The Sword in the Stone) but each of the novel's four books is more adult. White was a conscientious objector, sitting out the war against Hitler in a hut by a mud flat in Ireland. The novel is his struggle to make sense of love, force, law, violence and destruction. George Orwell's short essay "Politics and the English Language attacks lying on every level Stalin lying about twenty million murders and our own dodgy use of words when we talk ourselves into and out of things. If you take to heart his half dozen rules for using language, you will find it hard to lie or do anything truly barbarous.
Associate Professor Thomas A. Zak, Economics:
The Citizen and the State, George Stigler. (HD 82 .S834)
The Economist as Preacher, George Stigler. (HB 71 .S83 1982)
Nimitz Library | USNA
Web Systems Management Librarian http://www.usna.edu/LibExhibits/Readinglist/Fullreading.htm
> was wondering what the learned folks here on Free Republic thought about these works, what works they found missing from such an extensive list, and what they were happy to see was on the list, and what they were unhappy to see on the list. And of course, WHY?
I'd like to answer some of the questions you pose here, but this is such a long list that I just barely skimmed through the first third, & will have to put it aside till later. Please don't be surprised if it takes me a few weeks or even a few months to get my answers back to you. I've noticed many familiar titles along with a host of unknown or unread ones and I look forward to studying the list more fully. Thanks for posting it. i wonder what the Freeper analog to it would look like, and how many hundreds of pages it would be.
Let me suggest one book off the top of my head, "Silent America" by William Whittle. It is a compilation of a series of essays from his web site EjectEjectEject.com (all of which can be found online), written by a man who is both an excellent communicator and a Patriot.
I would also suggest a comprehensive world atlas as an indispensable part of any library, and, as, IMHO, any modern library will be connected to the Web, Google Earth (Flash Earth) or NASA's WorldWind are must haves.